Each year is marked by minor or major changes for the operation of certain industry. Translation is no exception. There are certain emerging trends that will dominate 2019 and bring about more work to the experts in the field. Some of the tendencies have been launched a couple of years ago and still gather momentum like machine translation, for example, while others are a complete novelty like the voice search/SEO translation. 

In line with the new translation trends, the industry will also benefit from the fact that its services will become more and more “fashionable” as a facilitator of global business growth.  

So, here is what to expect in 2019 in terms of translation and localization trends.  

Translation as a trend  

It is more interesting, though, that with the growth of business globalization, translation is expected to actually become the trend for many companies. The need to communicate in multiple languages with your customers means a translation of a whole set of materials in their mother tongue – starting from the company website to product user manuals, partner contracts and other types of document translation.  

In line with this development, services such as live chat translation will continue gathering popularity among various businesses. It offers an option to the companies who are not able to hire a whole team of foreign language speakers able to communicate with customers in their own language. The live chat software uses machine translation to assist the communication between the client and the agent. The live chat software is integrated with a translation app such as Google Translate, for example. Thus, you get a translation while typing. Each party in the conversation writes in their own language, while the partner reads in their mother tongue. 

While this option is highly convenient and can cut costs for businesses dealing with multinational customers, it also hides some disadvantages. Machine translation is still not 100% accurate, so it may give deviations in the meaning, especially with more complex or rare languages.  

Machine translation to evolve further 

With the further development of machine learning and AI, machine translation is also expected to continue its growth in 2019. While machine translation is not equal to human translation, it can be very useful for the translation of certain type of information, especially when it comes in greater quantities. It is a good solution for customer reviews, for example, or other secondary pages or information for a website translation.  

One of the popular types of translation includes blended translation. The document is machine-translated and then reviewed by a human translator to ensure consistency, accuracy, and overall quality. 

For the companies it is important to avoid using free machine translation apps for business purposes as this may have negative impacts. One of the reasons to consider are the inaccuracies in translation and another important factor is the possibility of breach of personal data legislation if sensitive data is leaked. It is better to use an LSP who can offer sophisticated machine translation solutions at a competitive price.  

Increase in the demand for multi-language video translation  

According to Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Trends, 2017–2022 it is expected that by 2019, video will account for 80% of global internet traffic, and 85% in the US. At the same time 80% of Livestream’s survey respondents say that they would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog.  

Those figures suggest that multi-language video translation will be highly demanded throughout 2019 and beyond. As videos will grow to be even more interactive and engaging, the challenge for professional translators will be to translate not only the text but render the actual atmosphere and experience each video brings.  

There are three main translation techniques for video content that can be used: 

  • Dubbing is when the original actor’s voice is replaced by someone speaking in the target language 
  • Voice-over and narration are methods that replaces the entire voice track with its translated version. This is usually used for animated videos 
  • Subtitles are on-screen captures in the target language and are usually the cheapest version of all 

The entertainment industry is also part of this trend. The accelerated media growth of companies such as Netflix and Amazon means that the translation industry should prepare for growing audiovisual translation and localization demands.  

Voice search and multilingual SEO translation  

The innovation and sophistication of mobile devices changes the way users search for information. Many smartphone owners prefer the voice search option to typing and this changes the whole game for SEO experts and also affects translation services. 

As we do not speak the way we type, a website will have to be optimized for this type of search. That affects its translated versions as well. The translator needs to make a few changes in the text so that it sounds casual and conversational in order to be recognized by the search engine and to appear as one of the first suggestions during a voice search. 

The challenge for LSPs will be to work closely with SEO experts and find a way how to optimize a site both for voice and regular search options. That will create additional work especially when it comes to multilanguage SEO.  

Impact of the new regulations 

2019 will be dominated by changes in global trade regulations that will inevitably affect translation as well. With the enactment of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) a stricter focus will be placed on compliance and data protection.  

Some other changes as Brexit will also affect international trade and create a necessity to revise many international contracts. 

While the new regulations are expected to create more job opportunities for translators and interpreters alike, their stricter requirements may bring upon some changes especially when it comes to translation quality.  

Most probably the trends that will rule the translation industry in 2019 will be here to stay for quite long. Hence, it is a good idea to prepare your business to them and adapt quickly in order to be a competitive player on the market.  

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